Hydrogen Peroxide Emission and Fate Indoors during Non-bleach Cleaning: A Chamber and Modeling Study

Shan Zhou, Zhenlei Liu, Zixu Wang, Cora J. Young, Trevor C. Vandenboer, B. Beverly Guo, Jianshun Zhang, Nicola Carslaw, Tara F. Kahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Activities such as household cleaning can greatly alter the composition of air in indoor environments. We continuously monitored hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) from household non-bleach surface cleaning in a chamber designed to simulate a residential room. Mixing ratios of up to 610 ppbv gaseous H2O2 were observed following cleaning, orders of magnitude higher than background levels (sub-ppbv). Gaseous H2O2 levels decreased rapidly and irreversibly, with removal rate constants (kH2O2) 17-73 times larger than air change rate (ACR). Increasing the surface-area-to-volume ratio within the room caused peak H2O2 mixing ratios to decrease and kH2O2 to increase, suggesting that surface uptake dominated H2O2 loss. Volatile organic compound (VOC) levels increased rapidly after cleaning and then decreased with removal rate constants 1.2-7.2 times larger than ACR, indicating loss due to surface partitioning and/or chemical reactions. We predicted photochemical radical production rates and steady-state concentrations in the simulated room using a detailed chemical model for indoor air (the INDCM). Model results suggest that, following cleaning, H2O2 photolysis increased OH concentrations by 10-40% to 9.7 × 105 molec cm-3 and hydroperoxy radical (HO2) concentrations by 50-70% to 2.3 × 107 molec cm-3 depending on the cleaning method and lighting conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15643-15651
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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